How many sharks, chimaeras, skates, and rays inhabit Mexico?

  • July 12, 2018
  • Worldwide, Mexico is well-known for a lot of things: its cuisine, tequila, mariachis, pyramids, and beaches, as well as being the country with the most Spanish-speaking residents (more than 120 million people). In contrast, however, little is known for the country’s chondrichthyan fauna: a class of fishes containing the sharks, chimaeras, rays, and skates. To […]

    Described 28 years post-collection, new grass species makes a strong case for conservation

  • July 6, 2018
  • Originally collected 28 years ago in Ecuador, new species Poa laegaardiana has been just described, only to find out its prospects for surviving in its type location seem bleak nowadays. The study was published in the open access journal PhytoKeys. When roaming in the Cordillera de los Andes of Ecuador, near the village of Facundo Vela, little did Smithsonian scientist and author, […]

    Out of the darkness: A new spider found deep within an Indiana cave

  • June 28, 2018
  • Spiders are ubiquitous within our forests, fields, and backyards. Although you may be used to seeing the beautiful yellow and black spiders of the genus Argiope in your garden, large ground-scurrying wolf spiders in your yard, or spindly cellar spiders in your basement, this new sheet-web-building spider is probably one you haven’t seen before. The […]

    First-ever fern checklist for Togo to help decision makers in the face of threats to biodiversity

  • June 22, 2018
  • Ferns and their allied species, which together comprise the pteridophytes, are vascular non-flowering plants that reproduce via spores. Many of their species are admired for their aesthetics. However, despite being excellent bioindicators that allow for scientists and decision-makers to monitor the state of ecosystems in the face of climate change and global biodiversity crisis, these […]

    Six new species of goblin spiders named after famous goblins and brownies

  • June 21, 2018
  •   Fictional characters originally ‘described’ by famous English children’s writer Enid Blyton have given their names to six new species of minute goblin spiders discovered in the diminishing forests of Sri Lanka. The goblins Bom, Snooky and Tumpy and the brownies Chippy, Snippy and Tiggy made their way from the pages of: “The Goblins Looking-Glass” […]

    In a hole in a tunicate there lived a hobbit: New shrimp species named after Bilbo Baggins

  • June 7, 2018
  • Two new species of tiny symbiotic shrimps are described, illustrated and named by biology student at Leiden University Werner de Gier as part of his bachelor’s research project, supervised by Dr. Charles H. J. M. Fransen, shrimp researcher of Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Leiden, the Netherlands). Inspired by the extremely hairy feet of one of the species, the authors […]

    What is a species? British bird expert develops a math formula to solve the problem

  • May 10, 2018
  • Nature is replete with examples of identifiable populations known from different continents, mountain ranges, islands or lowland regions. While, traditionally, many of these have been treated as subspecies of widely-ranging species, recent studies relying on molecular biology have shown that many former “subspecies” have in fact been isolated for millions of years, which is long […]

    Five new blanket-hermit crab species described 130 years later from the Pacific

  • April 24, 2018
  • Since 1888, a lone crab species living in an extraordinary symbiosis has been considered to be one of its kind At the turn of the twentieth century, two independent marine scientists – JR Henderson in 1888, and A Alcock in 1899, described two unusual blanket-hermit crabs from the Indo-West Pacific. Unlike other hermit crabs, these […]